Three Facial Procedures - Rhinoplasty - Scottsdale, AZ

You can read my background under the SmartLipo...

You can read my background under the SmartLipo review.

Although nobody has ever made any negative comments about my nose, I have never liked it. When I was much younger, I thought it was too wide. As I aged, the tip of my nose started becoming more bulbous and started forming a divot in the tip, between humps of cartilege. MOST people would never notice, but I figured if it looked like this when I'm 42, it's going to be really unattractive when I'm 62!

After years of consideration, I finally decided it was time to deal with my nose. I spent several weeks researching the various surgeons in Arizona and California who could do it. I chose mine based on his before and after photos. You really need to see the work that person has performed in the past and remember that NOBODY ever gives a bad reference in their resume (even you readers). If the doc's before and after photos don't look so hot, remember that those were their BEST results!!

CONSULTATION: I visited his office on Scottsdale Road and Jackrabbit for the initial consultation. His staff took facial photos and asked questions about what exactly I wanted to have done. We discussed my nose as well as my concern about my droopy right eyelid (from an injury that occurred 23 years ago).

THE PROCEDURE: I had general anesthesia for the surgery. I only remember getting onto the table and being grateful for the warm air cushion, then I was OUT. Next thing I remember I was waking up post-op. I believe surgery was four hours, because of all the work I had done. Somehow the nurse I hired got me to my hotel room across the street and got me situated. I felt fine, no real pain, just couldn't breathe very much through my nose. My mouth was very dry, so I kept putting chapstick on my lips. I took a picture with my camera phone and just tried to relax that first afternoon.

POST OP DAY 1:

POST OP DAY 2:

I was hoping to modify the existing review, but I...

I was hoping to modify the existing review, but I guess I can't! Sorry for the format.

POST OP DAY 0: First afternoon of surgery is pretty foggy, due to the anesthesia and pain meds. I know the hydrocodone made me nauseated (it always does...), so I ended up with a different pain medication and a nausea medication. I am regularly taking: methylprednisolone, keflex, Demerol, and arnica Montana pellets. I ate a banana and part of an avocado, and drank water and a protein shake. I sent the nurse to get chinese food, but then wasn't really hungry for it when she finally came back. The methylprednisolone dose pak was already kicking in and making it difficult to sleep, so I only got a few hours the first night. No pain, just an inability to breathe comfortably out my nose (although I could move air through one side). I had to change the drip pad every 1-2 hours because I bled the entire day and night. Around 1am I taped a lid to my nose (stop laughing!) to keep water from getting on the cast and took a shower because during surgery they got a LOT of greasy, sticky goo in my hair and I just couldn't take it anymore. I took naps propped up in bed on a few pillows.

POST OP DAY 1: I sipped on a coke and waited for the nurse to come check on me at 8am. I hadn't changed the drip pad in 4 or 5 hours and sure enough, the packing was stuck to it. We separated the two with scissors and got ready to put a new drip pad on. Anyone want to guess what happened next? For whatever reason, I felt myself starting to pass out so I warned the nurse, sat down on the floor ... and woke up later with her asking if I was ok. I took that as a cue and got back into bed and slept until noon. She came back at that time to take me to my first follow-up. I was starting to swell a little, but I still looked relatively good. At the PS’s office they took the packing out and checked on my incision sites. TRUST ME when I say that packing removal is pretty bizarre! I expected the first sensation (like they were pulling a wad of cotton out of my nose), but I had NO idea just how far back that went. It felt like they were pulling wet yarn out of my brain and throat, that’s the only way I can describe it. If you get queasy at stuff, take something before you go in to kind of knock yourself out (like xanax or lorazepam, which they prescribed for me but I didn't take). The PS said everything looked great and sent me home. I did some light activities around the house and took naps until the next day. The steroid was keeping me awake and feeling great, so I took advantage of that and cleaned my house (mistake!).

POST OP DAY 2: Now the swelling is really ramping up, but that is due to another procedure (see FAT INJECTIONS) and my lack of rest. I haven’t used a drip pad since the night before because the bleeding finally stopped, but my face has completely changed shape. Bruising has spread to my cheeks and under my chin, and I am starting to look like a cross between a chipmunk and a bulldog. My face is VERY tight and I can’t smile. But my nose feels great! Still absolutely NO pain. It seems the nasal passages have swollen some, and I feel like I have to blow my nose, but I won’t until my PS says it’s ok. I get a good look at the stitches, and then it hits me later in the day: the dreaded second-guessing. With the cast on and the tape, I can’t quite make out the shape of my new nose. It seems too pointed and uptilted, and I feel the first bit of postop panic hit me. I make the mistake of sending a picture from my phone to an ex boyfriend, who tells me I look ugly. Not helpful. I start looking at cosmetic surgery disaster photos (not a great idea, btw) and really get myself worked up over whether or not I did the right thing. FOLKS, THIS IS NORMAL! Ignore it if you can, or surround yourself with people who will be positive about what you’ve done. I am 100% alone in this, I don't even have a roommate or anyone coming to check on me. In spite of the steroid I’m taking, the inability to smell HAS decreased my appetite. I realize late in the evening that I haven’t eaten in almost 40 hours, but still nothing seems appealing. I eat a protein bar and a banana and drink some more water.

POST OP DAY 3 - 4: Status quo with the nose. Still no pain, and I try to make jokes to friends via texting about sounding like an asthmatic elephant. There is a good amount of blood clotted inside of it, but my PS told me not to clean my nose til the stitches come out. I stick with taking tweezers and GENTLY removing scabs and whatnot from the OUTSIDE of my nose.

POST OP DAY 5: It is Saturday, and I step on a scale for the first time all week. I have lost four pounds; I have got to start eating more even though I don’t feel like it. A friend takes me to the grocery store. This simple interaction really drove home how important it is to have a support system when you go through things like surgery (for whatever purpose). I get lots of stares but she tells me I look great, I’m going to be so happy with the results, etc etc. Unfortunately, I get dizzy at the store and have to end my excursion. I eat a turkey sandwich, some cheese cubes, and a few bites of cake. The meds, however, are full-on messing with my digestive system and I feel sick the rest of the day. Late that night, I feel the first pain from my nose (a couple of sharp bursts of pain) and I am hoping it’s just a freak occurrence.

POST OP DAY 6: I'm pretty sure I sneezed an alien...

POST OP DAY 6: I'm pretty sure I sneezed an alien out of my nose today. ;) Still no pain other than the couple of bursts the night before. As a note, I've only taken the Demerol at night to help me sleep, so that isn't the reason I'm not feeling pain. I DO have a dull headache the last two days, but that's it. Ever since the sneeze, I am smelling something gross (not that I smell gross, but there is a gross odor I am picking up - either my sense of smell is jacked up OR I am now smelling the rotting aliens (just kidding) that have taken up residence in my nose).

POST OP DAY 12: Ok, I think we can officially say...

POST OP DAY 12: Ok, I think we can officially say my nose has become an alien production facility. Some pretty bizarre stuff is being sneezed/blown out a few times a week. I also have a recurring dull headache. However, some of that may be brought on by the fact that I'm not getting enough rest (two businesses to babysit) and I am going to stress like never before you REAllY need to take it easy during recovery. Also, the daily fluctuations in my swelling has caused my skin everywhere from my eyes down to my chin (nose included) to peel. Good news: the tape comes off in THREE DAYS!! :) BTW, I still have some stitches inside my nose.

POST OP DAYS 15-17: The tape came off on Day 15.....

POST OP DAYS 15-17: The tape came off on Day 15...and...wow! New nose! I was given instruction to "massage" it to help reduce the swelling (pinch bridge and push fingers down towards cheeks, hold; move to another section of the bridge and repeat...). I was bruised on my eyelids and cheeks still, and while my PS couldn't offer a suggestion, I bought two gel eye masks (one for warm and one for cold) and by alternating warm compress with cold I have been able to get rid of almost all the bruising. To warm the mask, put it in a large ziplock bag, microwave an 8 cup measuring cup of water, then submerge the bagged mask in the water. After about 5 minutes the gel has warmed up and you take the mask out of the ziplock bag and put it on your eyes/cheeks. Once it cools off, take the other mask (which has been in the refrigerator) out and put that one on. In 2 days time, a few times a day, I have no more bruises. Still no pain, but I will say it is very tender - bumping my nose and "massaging" it isn't real comfortable. My reading glasses are a challenge, too, now - while it was casted/taped, the glasses didn't bother me but now if they are on for more than ten seconds it gets pretty uncomfortable.

17.5 weeks Postop!! I'm so sorry I didn't stay...

17.5 weeks Postop!!

I'm so sorry I didn't stay on top of this like I thought I would, but life happens...I have had a couple of postop visits now, most recently four days ago. I still get tip/bridge swelling and my PS said that is totally normal which is why they say wait a YEAR for your final result (it has been around 4 months for me). I love my new nose, I am extremely glad I had this done!

I have had one minor complication, and I saw it coming almost immediately. In the incision line of my left nostril, I developed a bump of scar tissue. It presented as a white knot that grew in size the first couple months. When I had my second follow up (two months after the procedure), the PS gave me a steroid shot in that bump to reduce its size. I had a feeling that wasn't going to help. A couple of days later, I got a real good look at it and saw a couple of holes in my skin around it. I believe, honestly, that my skin didn't completely close where the incision was and was forming scar tissue or new skin WITHIN the incision. Painful as it was (and likely the wrong thing to do myself!), I took a pair of tiny pointed scissors and snipped one of the open edges. Then I put a LOT of pressure on the opposite side...and sure enough, out popped a hard core of tissue! Since then it has not recurred, but there is still a tiny white piece of skin there.

When I met with my PS this past week, we discussed how my nostrils are still slightly flared and he offered to fix them in his office later this year. At that time, I'm sure my one small complication will also be dealt with. Overall, I'm very happy with my rhinoplasty four months post-op!
Dan Shapiro

Sometimes the follow-up appointments consist of an hour or more of waiting, then ten minutes of actual time with the doc. To be expected I guess, though!!

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Good results
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You look fabulous!

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Hi Geargirl, would you please let me know the name of nurse you hired and what she charged. You can send me a private message, I have surgery in the upcoming month and would need one. By the way, you look awesome, rhinoplasty is the next procedure am gonna do :).
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Hi! Thank you for the compliment! :) I am not going to recommend the nurse I had. She fought me on most of the stuff I requested (simple things...like getting me food or scheduling visits) and seriously overcharged me. It's almost like she thought her job was to argue the opposite point for everything that came out of my mouth. I think I paid around $600 for what amounted to a few hours' interaction. I've had help before, from a different nurse, who actually STAYED with me the first 24 hours and was super helpful. But that was in Texas. I guess Scottsdale is...different. o_0`
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Thanks for sharing! I am having upper blepharoplasty and rhinoplasty done March 23 and I am so nervous. Reading your post has helped ease the nervousness! You look beautiful!
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Thank you! Good luck, it's a little scary for a while when the bandages are coming off and you wonder if/when your face will stop itching/swelling/bruising. But it DOES get SO MUCH better!! Just stick it out; once you're in the second month postop things really smooth out!
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Who was your Dr.? You look great!!!
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it is noted in the Ratings box :)
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lol Omgosh, I enjoyed reading your review so much. You're so crazy!

I went through a bad phase of post surgery panic. I wouldnt stop googling "surgery gone wrong". I was terrified!

You're looking great. Awesome job.
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LOL oh I SO understand about the postop panic. I thought, since I've had other stuff done before, that this would be a piece of cake. NOPE. I had more postop panic with this than anything else (probably because I'm a little older, my self esteem wasn't doing so well anyway, and this was MY FACE we're talking about, which can't be covered up with clothing until a redo if necessary!). I am so happy I did this, though!!
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woooooow congrats i'm really happy for u u look amazing so young and fresh look by the way i like ur hair and honestly u look so beautiful
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Thank you safi!
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Thanks so much for starting your story on RealSelf. I'm looking forward to reading how your recovery is going!

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